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Tip brings arrest in robberies

A restaurant owner and her niece recognize a suspect from television and alert police.

By CAMILLE C. SPENCER
Published April 13, 2007


HOLIDAY - He bought a Greyhound bus ticket to Nashville, stopped by a cafe to get some grub and headed to the Majic Scissor for a haircut.

Viro Dincecco III (pronounced veer-o din-check-eeo), had seen himself on TV and had to get out of town, authorities said.

The problem was, other folks thought they had seen him on TV, too.

Thursday morning, a restaurant owner recognized Dincecco as the man shown in a surveillance video robbing a convenience store by threatening to inject the clerk with a syringe he claimed held AIDS-contaminated blood.

Her niece called 911. Deputies came to the plaza at U.S. 19 and Moog Road and arrested Dincecco.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says Dincecco, 21, confessed to committing six robberies to fuel his crack cocaine habit. He flashed a knife or claimed to have a gun in most of them, except for the March 31 robbery at the BP gas station, where he waived a syringe with red fluid

On Thursday, Dincecco told deputies what was really in the syringe:

Kool-Aid.

Deputies have not recovered the syringe.

Dincecco was charged with four counts of armed robbery, one count of attempted armed robbery and one count of robbery by sudden snatching. He is being held at the Land O'Lakes Detention Center.

Kristen Cabiness was munching waffles with her 1-year-old son at about 9:20 a.m. at Plaza Cafe in Holiday when she saw a guy with faded, baggy jeans and bloodshot eyes sitting at another table.

Cabiness' aunt, Sheri Messer, owns the restaurant. She waited on him. After he ordered french fries and a drink, Messer recognized his face.

So she asked Cabiness if it was the guy they saw on the news the night before. Cabiness turned away from him to avoid eye contact and grabbed her cell phone.

"I called 911 and said we had him in our restaurant," she said. "He was 10 feet from me."

Cabiness said the guy got nervous, headed to the bathroom a few times and stared at the front door.

About 10 minutes later, he told the waiter to make his order to go, Cabiness said. He paced around the back of the shopping plaza, stopping at the Greyhound bus station to wait.

He ended up at Majic Scissor, a shop in the same plaza. Cabiness called 911 again.

"I was like, 'Where are you guys at?' " Cabiness said.

A few minutes later, Dincecco was getting an $11 haircut when the barber noticed deputies heading toward the shop.

She turned his chair around so he couldn't see the deputies, who came in at gunpoint. Dincecco, of 7330 Heath Drive in Port Richey, was handcuffed and taken into custody.

Cabiness had a simple reason for calling authorities: "I figured, the worst thing you could do is ruin his day," she said, "but if that's the guy, they needed to arrest him."

Fast Facts:

A rash of robberies

Witness accounts and security camera footage led investigators to believe one robber was responsible for this rash of convenience store robberies. Under interrogation Thursday, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said, Viro Dincecco III confessed to all of them.FEB. 21- At 5:20 a.m. the robber enters the Circle K at 9827 Little Road in New Port Richey and tells the clerk he has a gun, although he never produces one.MARCH 13- At 2:30 a.m. the robber once again threatens a clerk with a gun but doesn't show one - this time at the 7-Eleven at 7131 Ridge Road in Port Richey.- At 8:22 a.m. the robber flashes a knife before robbing the Lil' Champ convenience store at 6618 Embassy Blvd. in Port Richey- At 8:36 a.m. the robber holds up the Congress Food Mart at 7510 Congress St. in New Port Richey by claiming to have a gun.MARCH 31- At 6 a.m., the robber holds up the BP gas station at State Road 54 and Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey, this time by threatening to inject the clerk with a syringe he claims is filled with AIDS-contaminated blood.- At 9:40 a.m., the robber snatches lottery tickets from the clerk at the Beacon Square Grocery, 3332 Moog Road in Holiday.Source: Pasco County Sheriff's Office